Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

The Adventures of a Manboy and his Father

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Every Chapter Ends


God willing and if the creek don't rise, tomorrow morning I will leave Ecuador.

By the time I get home it will have been 116 days.  Not a lifetime by any means, but definitely a season of life.  A season with ups and downs, mountains and valleys.  A season that refuses to be nicely packaged.

So how do you sum up such an experience?  Can it be told in a hour over coffee or through a picture album on facebook?  Surely a blog fails to do it justice.  No, such a season of life is retold over the years.  It is shared through the stories that burn to be told at the most random of times, the "this smell reminds me of..." moments that transport one to a forgotten place, and the shared struggle not to forget the people you came to love.

As a result, when someone asks me how was my time in Ecuador, I am prepared to answer Really good.  This answer does not connote that I am forgetting the loneliness, frustrations, parasites, struggles, or hard times that arose during these 116 days.  Really good communicates that I am defining this semester based on the singularly most important and influential factor of the last several months (and of entire my life):  God's goodness.  

How incredibly have I been blessed?  In our culture, words were given meanings originally transcendent of the normal daily experiences, but these words have become watered down (eg. A sandwich is awesome.  The new iPhone incredible and amazing.).  As a result, my words fail to accurately describe how good God has been to me.  He brought me to college.  He enabled me to come down here to finish up, and then He carried me through the experience.  Every accomplishment, every shred of grace in my life is just that, undeserved favor.  I've got nothing, and I am not strong or good enough to produce something to change that reality.  Just recognizing all this makes my time down here Really good.   Were there disappointments during the last 113 days here?  Honestly, yes, there were many.  But that's okay.  That's life.  The storm blows over my lawn furniture and some tiles off the roof.  A tree comes through a window, and it all might like a disaster, but my foundation is secure.  Whether I rest in that fact or I allow the damages and the places to rebuild consume my days, my foundation is secure.  Jesus is stronger than the storm, and He puts my feet on solid ground and holds me up.  

I cannot afford to forget this reality, because tomorrow I leave this tempest in order to jump into the rest of my life (which I endearingly refer to as a huge chasm, the void replete of details).  I have no clue what the future holds.  I don't know what I'll be doing.  I don't even really know what I want to be doing, and its okay.  Chapters end, and new ones begin.  And let's be honest, if we always knew or had a plan for the next chapter, there'd be less motivation to be excited for the author's creativity.  

In conclusion of this blog post, I would like to thank anyone who has cared enough to read some or even all of these updates over the last couple of months.  I think I know who most of you are, and I can honestly say that you warm my heart.  There's no way I deserve to have such good friends and family. 

Catchya on the flip side,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I've been slacking...

Man I'm slacking on this whole blog thing (and I'm currently a little tired) so time for a brief update on my life and then some pictures...

Hm... bullet points will work I suppose.

  • During Thanksgiving break I went to a place called Baños.  There, I explored some waterfalls, ate lots of the local taffy, and then rented a jeep with some friends and took it up into the mountains, which included me learning to drive manual as we went (don't worry! There was only one or two scary moments!)
  • After that trip I went into academic game-mode and busted out my last couple of papers and finals, meaning that last tuesday I essentially finished college.  I honestly hadn't thought a ton about that fact until it was upon me. Its pretty cool though to be done.  I just look back and have to give all the glory to God.  He gave me the abilities, then the opportunity, and on top of all that He still basically carried me through it all. 
  • The last week I was in the Jungle doing a VBS and teaching English.  When you travel off the beaten paths, sometimes you meet people who live such different lives than you do it can be hard to even comprehend what its like to be them.  I had some of those moments this last week for sure.  I can't relate to what its like not to be able to afford soap. 
  •  I was diagnosed with an acute infection of toxoplasmosis (which is a parasite that comes from cat feces or undercooked meat).  Its kinda messing with my energy and emotions, but overall no big deal!  God's grace is more than enough.
  • Last night, my friends and I had a toga Christmas party with some Ecuadorian food. 
  • In two days, I leave for our semester's beach debrief (not such a bad deal huh?)
  • In ten days I'll be leaving Ecuador. 
  • In eleven days, I have the honor of being in my friends wedding
  • In twelve days, I'll be home. 
  • A longer blog talking more about where I'm at will follow at some point.  Until then... 

The Cathedral of the town.  One of the nights a traveling symphonic orchestra came and played here.  It was pretty incredible.

Chocolate Banana Empanadas... que rico! I might have eaten more than necessary.

I just thought this was a sweet sight of the Ecuadorian flag and the valley.

While in Baños, a couple of my friends went "bungie jumping," which sometimes in Ecuador means jumping off bridges attached to a climbing rope.  I chose not to. 

The Jeep we rented (Jurassic Park anybody?) 

Learning to drive manual

 A street in Baños.  As you can tell its a pretty touristic place.


A chiva, or party bus, that we rented and were driven around to see some of the waterfalls!  (You can't tell it in this picture, but this is actually the dance space with some big ole speakers under the seats)

 And of course... I gotta throw in one artistic pic.